Liberal Democrat councillor praises Ashbrook and Thornley Brook planning decision – but ready for next steps

Sam Al-HamdaniLiberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has praised the decision of Oldham’s planning committee to refuse the planning application for the development of 265 houses on Thornley Brook and Ashbrook in Saddleworth West and Lees.

Sam said: “This decision – that the importance of the protected open land was greater than any theoretical benefits of the scheme – is a victory for common sense, and for the hard work of so many local people. The Save Our Valleys campaign have been tireless in their efforts. And as well as being able to mark the success of our campaign, It felt good to be one of the residents in the chamber who were able to celebrate the decision.

“I have spoken to so many local residents who would be directly impacted by this development. That’s why it has been so important to campaign against it, to be a voice for all those who would be affected by such a vital space for the community being lost.”

Some 48% of the proposed development was on “other protected open land” – OPOL, which the council itself had said was imperative to protect. The planning committee decision confirmed this position.

Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “It seems likely that the application could go to appeal, so more needs to be done to ensure that the land stays protected in the long term. No-one denies the need for development, but it must be done in a way which enhances the area, not takes away an irreplaceable resource.”


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